Biological Effects of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids
EPA (20:5) and DHA (22:6)

Organ(s) Effect Mechanism acts through
central nervous system improve cognitive function membrane composition; retinoic X receptor alpha
retina improve acuity membrane composition
immune immunosuppressive; antinflamatory membrane composition; rafts
cardiovascular anti-arrhythmia;
membrane composition; rafts;
serum lipids lowers triglycerides (risk factor for cardiovas. dis) peroxisome proliferator receptor alpha and gamma
liver decrease lipid synthesis;
increase fatty acid oxid.
decrease VLDL synthesis
sterol reg. element bind. protein;
PPAR alpha
PPAR alpha

Adapted from Jump D. The Biochemistry of n-3 Polyunsaturated fatty acids. J. Biol. Chem. 277, pg 8755 (200)